Make Your Garden Presentable for a Backyard Barbeque

Honestly, I’m really not sure I should be the one discussing this topic.  I’m not known for my avid gardening skills.  In fact, I purposefully choose the flowers I did, because they were perennials and hardy.  I wanted flowers I could basically ignore – and they would come back year after year.

Sad but true.  I have 3 kids, I homeschool and I blog.  I don’t have time to be messing around (pulling weeds) in 100 degree heat.  Really.  I grew up in Minnesota.  I don’t like to be hot, I don’t like the sun beating down on the back of my neck, and I don’t like to be humid.

I like air conditioning.

So, when I started my garden patch (that’s what I call it because I originally meant to grow larger) I didn’t realize it was going to be so much work.  It’s hard cutting a garden.  It’s a lot of work.

Did I mention it’s hot in DC in the summer?

So, when we planned to have a backyard BBQ with friends, I would aggressively start weeding the week prior.  I would cut off all the dead blooms, rake it out and make it look nice.

Or at least presentable for guests.- to give the impression that I cared – at least a little bit, you know?

I don’t know about you, but I want my house nice when people come over.

So last year, was sort of my garden turning point.  I got up one morning, went outside – and my garden was literally FILLED with weeds.  It was overnight and INSANE.  At this time I was pregnant, and the thought of weeding – wasn’t really in the picture.  It was really time to make a decision – stop the garden and allow the weeds to choke the life out of my flowers, or clean it up and do what I needed to do to maintain it.  Since my Mother bought me some of the flowers – I couldn’t bare to let them die.  So, I searched out those with more experience than I.

Keeping your garden beautiful year after year with minimal fuss

  1. I gave the garden a good cleaning.  I took a lot of time to weed.  You gotta pull them from the roots.  if you leave the roots in the ground, you are sunk.
  2. Cover everything between the plants with cardboard.  It’s eco-friendly, just make sure it doesn’t contain tape.  I took the extra time to put the cardboard really close to the base of the plants.
  3. Cover the cardboard with mulch.  This just makes everything pretty.  You don’t want your friends to see a garden filled with yucky cardboard.
  4. Cut the grass.  Honestly, I don’t do grass.  Mowing the lawn is where I draw the line.  My hubby cuts it.

The cardboard blocks the light hitting the soil, thus really reduces the amount of weeds.

In my second year, I didn’t have a problem with the weeds.  I do have some weeds coming up out of the plants. I just cut those back – and voila!  You can have a nice looking yard that you don’t have to slave over!

Sounds good, right?

The solution is not perfect.  But if you are a busy Mom like I am – this gives you a garden that you can be proud to show your guests!

Here is a patch of land with no cardboard with mulch.  See the weeds coming through the mulch?  Mulching is not enough.

Weeds coming through mulch

Here are some pictures of my garden – with cardboard and very old – year old mulch (yeah I know).

Few weeds

For me, this is good.  The fact that I didn’t have to do anything to it this year, makes it even more-so!

What special tricks do you have for keeping your garden beautiful all summer long?  Does your tips and tricks work long term?

About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile


  1. I LOVE perennials, too! The initial work of getting them into the ground is worth the payoff year after year. Oh and I don’t like to be hot, either, and I grew up in Mississippi! lol
    Anne Sweden recently posted…Mother’s Day Giveaway: Moody Sisters SkincareMy Profile

  2. I love low maintenance solutions! My gardening trick is to use a raised bed so there are few (if any) weeds.
    maryanne recently posted…Happy Mother’s Day!My Profile

  3. What a great solution! I never would have thought of cardboard. I am all about no fuss, too! Even if at one time I was inclined to work outside in the heat (I wasn’t), I definitely don’t have the time or patience with it now that I have little ones. Thanks for sharing your tips at the Backyard BBQ Hop!
    Leanna recently posted…Top 10 Ways to Learn Through Travel {School’s Out: A Top Ten Series from KBN}My Profile

    • Hey Leanne,

      Yeah, the cardboard works like a charm. I tend to be the kind of person who grows weeds really really well – so…

      I need the cardboard.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great rest of the weekend and good start to the work-week (as if our work ever stops).
      Lisa recently posted…The Shabbat Princess – A Book ReviewMy Profile

  4. Hi Lisa, thanks for the cardboard tip. I have a patch of weeds on the side of my house – I wonder if I cover it with cardboard – would all the weeds die? And the heat under there might even kill off the seeds too. Thanks so much.
    Darlene recently posted…De-clutter and Hide the RestMy Profile

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